In this week’s And Finally: Our shortlist for Cllr Awards 2023, ending homelessness and augmented reality in Bedford.
And Finally... 13 October 2023
Our weekly round-up for everyone in local government.
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Highlights from this week: Our shortlist for Cllr Awards 2023, ending homelessness and augmented reality in Bedford.
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Discover the shortlists for Cllr Awards 2023
Running for the 14th year across England & Wales and the 6th year in Scotland, these are the only national awards celebrating the vital work of councillors. Discover the shortlists for England and Wales and Scotland below and RSVP to join us for the ceremonies!
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Something for everyone
We’re all about celebrating and showcasing the best of local government. Everyone can read, enjoy and share our open features and interviews.
2023 COSLA Conference – “No council is an island”
This article highlights some of the core themes from the 2023 COSLA Conference in Crieff, and re-caps Jonathan Carr-West’s presentation, speaking alongside Professor James Mitchell, on central and local government relations in Scotland and further afield.
“You can specialise or you can generalise” – Kerry Robinson, CEO of Blacktown City Council
Keen to learn more about the Chief Executive Officer of New South Wales’ largest council, Blacktown City, LGIU spoke with Kerry Robinson about his trajectory through property development and local government. Kerry also examines the opportunities and challenges Blacktown faces in servicing and preparing for an estimated growth of over 200,000 by 2041!
Best practice from Ireland – Guidance manual for Fingal community facilities
With 35 community centres and serving one of the fastest growing areas in Ireland, Fingal County Council looks to support the highest standards of facilities management and good governance in their community facilities while ensuring they are meeting the ever-changing needs of local communities.
“We need an honest conversation about the future of Irish local democracy” – AILG President Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick
Eager to hear more about the recent work of the Association of Irish Local Government ahead of next year’s 125th commemoration of Irish local government, Thomas from LGIU Ireland spoke with AILG’s President, Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick, about the organisation’s reflections, aspirations and views on the Irish local government sector.
Global Local: Homelessness
In many places housing affordability is becoming more distant, renting is becoming more competitive and homelessness is on the rise. Historical models of support, well-intentioned and sometimes even well-funded, might have led to vast tracts of public housing that are often now just years-long waiting lists or neighbourhoods with poor connections and poorer opportunities. Cash-strapped local government now needs more localised and often more creative approaches to housing and support.
From tiny-homes to cash transfers, empathy and dignity underscore some of the most innovative approaches to addressing homelessness. That and a clearly evidenced approach that can demonstrate better outcomes for communities, individuals and the bottom line of the public sector budget. Efficiency is often created by combining support approaches, creating smoother pathways to support and using rigorous data driven approaches to understanding the scale and complexity of the problem.
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Staff picks of the week
Some of the issues that have caught our eye this week
Flooding in Scotland
Amidst the heavy rainfall, flooding and disruption seen across many parts of Scotland last week, Argyll and Bute Council shared a story of a registrar and local farmer teaming up to save a couple's big day from the wet weather. Elsewhere, residents of the flood-prone town of Stonehaven will be relieved by the apparent success of the area's new flood defences, which warded off more than 50mm of rain which fell on the town on Saturday.
Potential single-use vaping ban in England and Wales
With the news yesterday that England's Child Commissioner has called for a disposable vape ban, read our recent briefing on the rise, risks and potential ban of single-use vapes in the UK, especially those posed to children and young people.
This story made us smile
Past present future
Virtual experiences bring Bedford's history to life
Bedford Creative Arts has collaborated with digital artists to create three augmented reality games that allow players to learn about the history of Bedford. By scanning murals around the town with their mobile phones, players can access games that reveal local facts dating back to the 18th century. The games focus on different aspects of the town's history, including the High Street, aviation heritage, and airships. The games, which are free to access, aim to demonstrate the potential of public art combined with digital technology. Bedford BC portfolio holder for town centres and planning Andrea Spice said it "takes it to a whole new level by giving you the opportunity to immerse yourself in our town's heritage".
This story comes from England Daily News.
Daily News is an LGIU member-only service that keeps you connected to all the local government stories in the national and regional
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